On Valentine’s Day, the Husband took me to one of the vegan restaurants in our neighborhood that we hadn’t yet been to together. I was thrilled to be wined and dined at Candle Cafe West with my love on this special occasion, and he definitely knocked it out of the park with the restaurant choice. We had to chuckle when the waiter asked if either of us had ever been to Candle before. I had been there with some girl friends, but the Husband had not. So the waiter looked at the Husband and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. This is vegan food for people who like food.” Obviously he had no idea who he was dealing with!
There are two Candle restaurants in the city. We had a wonderful experience at Candle Cafe East several years ago, so I knew this was going to be an incredible dinner.
We had the option of ordering dishes off the prefixed menu or going for the whole kit and kaboodle by choosing a soup, an appetizer or salad, an entree, and a dessert. There was also an option to have each course paired with a different wine. Guess which one we chose!
Every single item we ordered was outstanding. There were at least two gluten-free options in each category, so there was plenty for me to choose from. We both ordered something different so we could enjoy more of the menu.
Both soups were creamy and unique, starting off our meal with warm tummies on a cold evening. The portions were huge, but they were so delicious I just couldn’t help eating the entire thing! I wondered how in the world I would be able to eat 3 more courses. Don’t worry, I managed.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Arame Caviar and Truffle Oil
Smoked Red Pepper Soup with Bread
(The soup was gluten free, but the bread was not.)
I appreciated that there was plenty of time between courses to enjoy the wine and actually start feeling ready for more food. We weren’t rushed on this busy night but were given time to savor and anticipate the next course.
Again, the appetizers were ample. Mine was almost a mixture of an appetizer and a salad. The Husband’s was almost a lunch portion entree.
Grilled Artichokes with Green Beans, Hearts of Palm, Kale, English Peas, and Red Pepper Aioli
Yes, I actually ate peas! There are few foods that I dislike, and peas are one of them, but these weren’t bad disguised in the delicious flavors from the rest of the dish.
Spinach Ravioli with Tofu Cheese, Sauteed Spinach, Garlic, and Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce
(This was not gluten-free, so the Husband enjoyed this one all by himself.)
I actually can’t say which entree I liked better. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them in the restaurant as well as the leftovers the next day. I am determined to improve my tempeh and tofu-baking skills after tasting what can be done with them! The tempeh tickled my tastebuds with spiciness while the tofu had a Asian flair similar to Suzanne’s Dragon Sauce at Hello Veggy.
Vegetable Stuffed Tempeh with Grilled Tempeh, Sauteed Peppers, Shallots, Oyster Mushrooms, and Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce
Sesame Crusted Tofu with Ginseng Infused Black Rice, Sauteed Snow Peas, Edamame, Ginger, and Sake-Miso Sauce
Love. Love. Love. Three out of the four desserts offered were gluten-free. So we narrowed it down to chocolate and chocolate. I’m a firm believer that if there is a chocolate option there’s no need to look further. I’m sure we ordered the best two desserts, because I can’t imagine a dessert tasting better than either of these.
Almond Joy – Chocolate and Almond Mousse, Candied Almonds, and Raspberry Coulis
Brownie with Candied Pecans, Strawberries, Kahlua Ice Cream, and Chocolate Sauce
It was a delightful evening with incredible food and wine and great service. I would highly recommend Candle West for a special occasion or just a fun dinner out. Put it on your list!
Candle Cafe West
New York, NY
- What did you do for Valentine’s Day?
- Which of the above dishes would you order?
- Have you ever been to Candle Cafe?